Presentation Title

LGBTQ+ Experiences of Community Engagement and Acceptance within Fandom

Faculty Mentor

Danielle Kohfeldt

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:30 AM

Location

30

Session

poster 2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Those who feel a sense of community in groups they are members of may view their membership as personally meaningful and seek community engagement. Individuals form communities based on a variety of interests or personal characteristics. For example, fandom, referring to interest in certain pieces of media (e.g., television shows, movies) can bring together individuals from various backgrounds. How might LGBTQ+ people experience fandom? How might their LGBTQ+ identities relate to the ways they experience fandom? Qualitative responses came from questions regarding aspects participants enjoyed most about consuming and producing fan content, and contained four major themes: (1) feeling a sense of community and belonging within one’s fandom, encouraging interaction and contribution to the communities, (2) exploration and expansion of source material (canon), deepening given narratives and moving beyond canon, (3) representation of identity through creation of fan content to reflect LGBTQ+ relationships and experiences, and (4) valuing of diverse perspectives and opinions. When participants were asked how much they agreed with the statement, “I am not taken seriously within the fandom” using a 5-point Likert scale, significantly more participants chose “strongly disagree” than “strongly agree” (p < .001), and significantly more chose “disagree” than “agree” (p < .001). When asked how much they agreed with the statement, “My preferred activities are not taken seriously within the fandom,” significantly more participants chose “strongly disagree” than “agree” (p < .001) or “strongly agree” (p < .001). These results suggest that self-identified LGBTQ+ participants in this sample felt connected to others in their fandom, especially through production and consumption of fan content. They also appear to believe that their interests and participation efforts were respected and appreciated within their fandom.

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Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM Nov 23rd, 9:30 AM

LGBTQ+ Experiences of Community Engagement and Acceptance within Fandom

30

Those who feel a sense of community in groups they are members of may view their membership as personally meaningful and seek community engagement. Individuals form communities based on a variety of interests or personal characteristics. For example, fandom, referring to interest in certain pieces of media (e.g., television shows, movies) can bring together individuals from various backgrounds. How might LGBTQ+ people experience fandom? How might their LGBTQ+ identities relate to the ways they experience fandom? Qualitative responses came from questions regarding aspects participants enjoyed most about consuming and producing fan content, and contained four major themes: (1) feeling a sense of community and belonging within one’s fandom, encouraging interaction and contribution to the communities, (2) exploration and expansion of source material (canon), deepening given narratives and moving beyond canon, (3) representation of identity through creation of fan content to reflect LGBTQ+ relationships and experiences, and (4) valuing of diverse perspectives and opinions. When participants were asked how much they agreed with the statement, “I am not taken seriously within the fandom” using a 5-point Likert scale, significantly more participants chose “strongly disagree” than “strongly agree” (p < .001), and significantly more chose “disagree” than “agree” (p < .001). When asked how much they agreed with the statement, “My preferred activities are not taken seriously within the fandom,” significantly more participants chose “strongly disagree” than “agree” (p < .001) or “strongly agree” (p < .001). These results suggest that self-identified LGBTQ+ participants in this sample felt connected to others in their fandom, especially through production and consumption of fan content. They also appear to believe that their interests and participation efforts were respected and appreciated within their fandom.